Background: Early referral of cancer patients for palliative care significantly improves the quality of life. It is not clear which patients can benefit from an early referral, and when the referral should occur. A Delphi Panel study proposed 11 major criteria for an outpatient palliative care referral.
Objective: To operationalize major Delphi criteria in a cohort of lung cancer patients, using a prospective approach, by linking health administrative data.
Design: Population-based observational cohort study.
Setting/Subjects: The study population comprised 38,851 cases of lung cancer in the Ontario Cancer Registry, diagnosed from January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2016.
Measurements: We operationalized 6 of the 11 major criteria (4 diagnosis or prognosis based and 2 symptom based). Patients were considered eligible (index event) for palliative care if they qualified for any criterion. Among eligible patients, we identified those who received palliative care.
Results: Twenty-eight thousand one hundred sixty-four patients were eligible for palliative care by qualifying for either the diagnosis- or prognosis-based criteria (n = 21,036, 76.5%), or for symptom-based criteria (n = 7128, 23.5%). A total of 23,199 (82.4%) patients received palliative care. The median time from palliative care eligibility to the receipt of first palliative care or death or maximum study follow-up was 56 days (range = 17–348).
Conclusions: We operationalized six major criteria that identified the majority of lung cancer patients who were eligible for palliative care. Most eligible patients received the palliative care before death. Future research is warranted to test these criteria in other cancer populations.
Background: In 2007, Cancer Care Ontario began standardised symptom assessment as part of routine care using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System (ESAS).
Aim: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of ESAS on receipt of palliative care when compared with a matched group of unexposed patients.
Design: A retrospective-matched cohort study examined the impact of ESAS screening on initiation of palliative care services provided by physicians or homecare nurses. The study included adult patients diagnosed with cancer between 2007 and 2015. Exposure was defined as completing =1 ESAS during the study period. Using 4 hard and 14 propensity score-matched variables, patients with cancer exposed to ESAS were matched 1:1 to those who were not. Matched patients were followed from first ESAS until initiation of palliative care, death or end of study.
Results: The final cohort consisted of 204 688 matched patients with no prior palliative care consult. The pairs were well matched. The cumulative incidence of receiving palliative care within the first 5 years was higher among those exposed to ESAS compared with those who were not (27.9% (95% CI: 27.5% to 28.2%) versus 27.9% (95% CI: 27.5% to 28.2%)), when death is considered as a competing event. In the adjusted cause-specific Cox proportional hazards model, ESAS assessment was associated with a 6% increase in palliative care services (HR: 1.06, 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.08).
Conclusion: We have demonstrated that patients exposed to ESAS were more likely to receive palliative care services compared with patients who were not exposed. This observation provides real-world data of the impact of routine assessment with a patient-reported outcome.
CONTEXT: Patients with advanced breast cancer have low rates of survival that can be associated with symptom burden.
OBJECTIVES: This study seeks to characterize the effect of longitudinally-collected symptom scores on predicting time to death for advanced breast cancer patients.
METHODS: A cohort of 993 Stage IV breast cancer patients was constructed using linked population-level health administrative databases that captured longitudinally-collected symptom data using the Edmonton Symptom Assessment System. Data was captured on individual symptom scores (20,371 assessments) for pain, tiredness, drowsiness, nausea, appetite, dyspnea, depression, anxiety and wellbeing, as well as three summative scores of total symptom distress score (TSDS), physical symptom score, and psychological symptom score. A joint modelling approach was undertaken to simultaneously model repeated measures longitudinal data and time-to-event data.
RESULTS: Of patients who died in the study, 56.11% survived for a mean time of less than three years and had lower mean symptom scores for all symptoms except shortness of breath, in comparison to patients who lived for greater than three years. Symptom burden was predictive of patient time to death for all symptoms, with risk of death increasing with worsening symptom scores. For TSDS, age at diagnosis (0.009, p<0.05), chemotherapy (-0.63, p<0.001) and palliative care (3.15, p<0.001) were significant predictors of patient time to death.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with advanced breast cancer experience chronic, ongoing low symptom burden which predicts patient time to death. Future research should examine the mechanisms by which patient characteristics, treatment, supportive and palliative care can have an impact on patient survival.
BACKGROUND: chronic critical illness (CCI) is a complex syndrome with a high risk of dying in hospital. Intensive care unit nurses are well-positioned to lead conversations integrating palliative and end-of-life care, yet have reported limited involvement. AIM: To generate further understanding of nurses' experiences of patients with CCI and their families.
DESIGN AND METHODS: This qualitative study followed Thorne's interpretive description methods. In 2012, 16 intensive care unit nurses from one academic hospital participated in interviews.
RESULTS: Our primary theme was that of internal tension generated through participants' knowledge of patients' anticipated and protracted dying, while wanting to shield families from suffering. This internal tension resulted from responsibilities to preserve hope for patients and families, while at the same time wanting to provide them prognostic information. Participants experienced challenges of: (i) preserving family trust, (ii) determining when and how to engage families in discussions and (iii) providing possibilities of a 'good' death. A secondary theme described constraints to acting on their insights because of interprofessional team dynamics or limited communication, within the team and with the family. CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Internal tension, as experienced by participants reflects the challenges of transition from acute to palliation and end-of-life care, made more complex in CCI, because of its poorly defined terminal stage. Nurses' ability to manage the complex process of supporting hope while gradually providing information to build family understanding of CCI highlights their central role in facilitating what and how prognostic information is given, while managing the emotional implications and family response. To better support nurses do this, we advocate for formal structures enabling nurses to participate in decision-making regarding timing of transitions using palliation and end-of-life care.
Le lymphoedème du bras consécutif à l'ablation d'un cancer du sein peut devenir chronique et avoir des répercussions symptomatiques, fonctionnelles et psychosociales chez les patientes. Les deux thérapeutiques proposées sont la compression et le drainage lymphatique manuel. L'étude prospective présentée a été réalisée au Canada auprès quatre femmes pour évaluer les bénéfices du drainage sur une période de un an. Des tableaux résument les stades du lymphoedème, les caractéristiques des patients, l'évolution de la mesure du tour de bras et une liste des conséquences sur la qualité de vie. Les résultats montrent une amélioration symptomatique du volume du bras; mais ils mettent en évidence une évolution négative chez ces femmes par rapport aux aspects psychosociaux de leur vie, ce qui souligne la nécessité d'une prise en charge de cette pathologie
Ce guide est destiné aux patients en phase terminale et à leur famille pour leur permettre de s'occuper de ces patients lorsqu'ils reviennent à domicile. Différents thèmes sont abordés : le retour à domicile, les services permettant de faciliter ce retour, le coût de ce retour, le soin du malade et le traitement de la douleur. Ce livret est également disponible en version anglaise.
La connaissance de soi via la réflexion est l'un des éléments les plus marquants de la pratique réfléchie. Elle peut aussi être l'un des éléments importants pour que les infirmières en soins palliatifs reconnaissent leurs sentiments et leurs peurs lorsqu'elles soignent une personne en phase terminale. Elle est capable d'améliorer la qualité des soins.